Archive for November, 2007

An even more hated man in Riyadh

Sunday, November 25th, 2007
Is Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. This is what he said on CNN's Late Edition today: BLITZER: There has been a lot of outrage here in the United States, indeed, around the world in recent days to this judicial ruling in Saudi Arabia that a woman -- a 19-year-old woman who was gang-raped, was herself sentenced to 200 lashes, six months in prison for even speaking out about this. How would you as president, Governor, go ahead and balance U.S. strategic, national interests, working with Saudi Arabia, while at the same time they have these policies towards their own -- half of their population, namely women? HUCKABEE: Well, I have been very outspoken about some of the dissatisfaction I have towards the House of Saud. I think that our country, the United States, has been far too involved in sort of looking the other way, not only at the atrocities of human rights and violation of women. But, look, we have allowed ourselves to become so completely attached to Saudi oil, it essentially is now where Americans are financing both sides of the war on terror. Our tax dollars pay for the military side. Every time we put our credit card in the gas pump, we are paying so that the Saudis get rich - filthy, obscenely rich, and that money then ends up going to funding madrassas… BLITZER: Well, what would you do about… HUCKABEE: … that train the terrorists. BLITZER: What would you do about that -- Governor, excuse me for interrupting, what would you do about… HUCKABEE: Yes. BLITZER: … their religious edicts involving the way they treat women while at the same time U.S. dependence on Saudi oil and U.S. hope that the Saudis will cooperate in the war on terror? HUCKABEE: I would make the United States energy independent within 10 years and tell the Saudis they can keep their oil just like they can keep their sand, but we won't need either one of them. America has allowed itself to become enslaved to Saudi oil. It is absurd. It is embarrassing. Since 1973, we keep talking about project independence. We never have the political will to do it. It is high time that we stop this sense of almost being subordinated by the Saudis as well as the rest of the Middle East, particularly countries who do not like us, who do not have our best interests at heart. We need a self-sustaining, environmentally friendly energy source or energy sources. And that is no longer a matter of just environmental concern and our economic interest, it is now really a matter of utmost national security.

The most hated man in Riyadh

Sunday, November 25th, 2007
Coalition member Gal Luft was given a badge of honor by Esquire Magazine which titled him as "the most hated man in Riyadh, Detroit, and Des Moines." "What separates him from other energy specialists are his pragmatic solutions. He doesn't peddle pie-in-the-sky political strategies. He's a realist. He has a single goal: freeing America from the grip of foreign oil. And he wants to do it now. At right are four steps he says we can -- and should -- take today." Read more here

Georgia’s Biofuels Refinery to Make 9 Million Gallons of Cellulosic Methanol a Year

Friday, November 16th, 2007
The Methanol Institute(MI) reports:
On November 6th, the first commercial plant to turn trees and wood scraps into biofuels officially opened in Soperton, Georgia. According to the Department of Energy, the Range Fuels plant is expected to produce 40 million tons of cellulosic ethanol and 9 million tons of cellulosic methanol each year. The Department of Energy will fund more than $1.2 billion for this plant and five similar ones in the works. The groundbreaking ceremony was headlined by Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, who focused his speech on praising ethanol: “These six sites differ in their location and in the feed stocks that they will use, but they will all help us move toward the day when biofuels made from cellulosic ethanol can be made in near every part of the country.” In response, MI’s John Lynn wrote a letter to Bodman saying “As Range Fuels’ project advances, we encourage you to include methanol in the discussion. The methanol industry is seeing increased interest in renewable methanol and we expect to see new plants opening around the country over the next several years. Through its many applications, methanol can and should be a significant part of the solution.”
Both methanol and ethanol are alcohol fuels that can power flexible fuel vehicles, cars that can run on any combination of alcohol and gasoline and cost an auto manufacturer less than $100 extra to make over the cost of a gasoline only car. There is no reason for the Department of Energy to pick one fuel as a winner and ignore others - let them all compete. For more on the potential of flexible fuel vehicles to break the stranglehold of oil producers, click here: The Alcohol Standard by Robert Zubrin. For an article by Ford Motor's Roberta Nichols about gasoline-ethanol-methanol fuel flexibility, click here. MI adds another bit of important news from China, which is moving aggressively towards fuel choice: "At the 5th International Clean Vehicle Technology Exhibition in Beijing, Chang’an Automobile Company presented the Ben Ben methanol-fueled car, and Geely Automotive stated the Haifeng methanol vehicles have been put into large-scale production and might be launched at the end of this year."